Wednesday, December 7, 2016

#IWSG December, Christmas, and an Apology to Jeff

An awesome, encouraging blog hop founded by Alex J. Cavanaugh and supported by amazing writers from around the web-sphere.
Co-hosts this month: 
December's Question:
In terms of your writing career, where do you see yourself five years from now, and what’s your plan to get there?

Erk. Plan?

No, wait. I do have a plan. Or, I had a plan once.

I lost my plan somewhere in the hustle of the last three years.
I attempted to re-create it a few times, but it didn't stick.
This month's question burned deep, so I revisited my goals and my plan.
If you do not want to read it all, I suggest hitting the bits in bold.

I hope to be a hybrid author with 1 or more traditionally published titles, 2 or more small press titles, and 30 self-pubbed titles.  
I hope to make part-time to full-time wages as a writer, and not just tips.
I hope to gain a few public speaking gigs at writing conferences and/or community classes.
Finally, I hope to have over 300 short works published: poetry, short stories, and articles.

Writing 2-3 hours a day. This is a must to make all that writing possible.
Marketing/Networking: 30-60 minutes a day. (Find some marketing wisdom somewhere.)
Joining a toastmaster group/public speaking group to practice public speaking.
Keep writing, keep revising, keep submitting, repeat as many times as needed.
By keeping my goals in front of me! (lesson learned)

Since 2009, I have blundered my way through the blosphere, learning through a huge number of mistakes some small bits about blogging, tweeting, facebook(ing), and instagram. Along the way, I've made some friends, and I've had a few friends send me extra bits of wisdom via e-mail. Thank you, sweet friends!
Since 1992, I have had 102 short works accepted for publication and 101 of those published. (One is forthcoming in 2017.) I've gained momentum in the last two years. I've also gained determination - no matter the rate of rejection, I can still get published.
Since 2013, I have self-published: 3 novels, 3 writing prompt books (2 are journals), 3 writing curriculum books, 3 collections of short works, 1 study guide for a novel, 1 small devotional book, and 7 short or experimental fiction e-books. That's a total of 21 self-pubbed titles, although some are only at smashwords, and some are very short.
I have one novella published through a small press - this novella is associated with a youtube series with a tiny following.
I teach writing classes at a local homeschool co-operative, have taught one class on writing through my church, have taught some Sunday School classes over the last twenty years, and I have given the message at church a few dozen times. (This is all working on my public speaking skills, although that wasn't the primary motivation to speak on any of these ocassions.)

So, my additional question for those of you who are planning - have you written down what you've accomplished so far? 
It's a powerful thing to do - even if I realized that my results are not what I want them to be - lots of self-pubbed titles and very few sales. 

Merry Christmas! 
I'll still be around this month for a bit, but I know that many of you are snuggling up in blankets, reading books, and calling this year a wrap. To you and to all, I wish you a Merry Christmas, Much Holiday Cheer, and a Happy New Year!

An Apology to Jeff Chapman, who had an amazing guest post that everyone seemed to think was my writing last month . . .
I actually don't own an iPad.
Jeff writes on an iPad.
He guest posted.
If you looked up his blog, you may not have found him.
His website is here: Jeff Chapman Books
His twitter is here: Jeff on Twitter
His amazon page with oodles of awesome reads is here: Jeff Chapman at Amazon
Please stop by his website or his twitter or his amazon page and give him some writerly hugs!


Jennifer Hawes said...

Sounds like you did a little planning awhile back to have that much success! Here's to more of that in the next five years. Merry Christmas.

Nicola said...

Some great accomplishments there Tyrean!! Thanks for sharing. Wishing you continued (plus lots more) success in the coming year. Have a super December and festive season.

krystal jane said...

This is incredible! Seriously. I want to have a list of accomplishments like this some day. Plus you're like super focused. :) I should make an official one year plan at least by the end of the year. ^_^

Merry Christmas!

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Well done, Tyrean! And determination and momentum are excellent things to have. Keep going!

Tyrean Martinson said...

Jennifer - yes, I had a crazy plan originally, and then went off in a wild derailment that still kept chugging forward. I just keep on working, in the good and bad moments. I'm made plenty of mistakes along the way.

Nicola - Thanks!

Krystal - Thanks! I feel like my list looks a big more exciting than it really is. It's kind of weird, but many days I feel like I'm still just beginning.

Madeline - Thanks!

Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor said...

Wow - you've accomplished heaps! I'm in awe. I love that you teach writing classes - it's so great that you share your knowledge with others.

Sarah Foster said...

Phew! That's quite a lot of accomplishments!! I'm sure you'll be able to keep accomplishing your goals!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

You've actually had quite a bit published. More than quite a bit! This is why writing down tangible goals is so important. Congrats.

cleemckenzie said...

Here's to getting those 330 short stories written and published. Good luck.

Olga Godim said...

Your numbers are awesome, Tyrean. Best wishes with your goals!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I am in total awe of your plan...
Merry Christmas, Tyrean!

Natalie Aguirre said...

Sounds like you have a great plan and have thought about how to actually get there. While I don't write fiction right now, I'm grateful I'm supporting myself as a writer, even if it's not as good as an attorney.

Erika said...

I am incredibly impressed with all you have accomplished. Thank you for sharing your reflection. It inspired me :)

Tyrean Martinson said...

Ellen - Teaching is super challenging on some days, and just amazing fun on other days. I had some amazing fun the last few weeks. :)

Sarah - thanks! I hope so. I may have to find a J-O-B next year, so we'll see.

Diane - Thank you!

C Lee - thanks! Don't ask me why they are so important to me, but I love short things - maybe because I'm hobbit-sized.

Olga - thanks!

Alex - Thanks! You know . . . worldwide domination through word-building has always sounded good to me. Just kidding. :)

Natalie - it's so cool that you are supporting yourself with writing!

Erika - Thank you! :)

Jamie Ayres said...

Best of luck with your goals. You've certainly come a long way already! Merry Christmas & Cheers to the new year <3

Chemist Ken said...

I haven't thought about writing down what I've accomplished. I haven't finished any of my stories yet, but I have taught story structure to a couple of writing groups, so that's something I can add to the list.

You certainly sound like you have an ambitious plan there. Good luck!

Tyrean Martinson said...

Jamie - Thank you! Sometimes - well, most of the time - I forget where I've been and even what I've done. The task in front of me is all I seem to see . . . and then forget as the dog wants out.

Ken - Thanks! You should definitely list your accomplishments!

J.H. Moncrieff said...

Wow, Tyrean. My jaw hit the floor when I read the list of your accomplishments. That is AMAZING. Wow.

How is it going for you, if you don't mind me asking? Have you noticed your audience growing along with you backlist?

Congrats for hitting it out of the park! I stand in awe.

Rebecca Douglass said...

Impressive success. And good advice to write down what we've already accomplished. It can really help when the goals feel a long way off.

My IWSG Post

Ronel Janse van Vuuren said...

Congratulations on all your success. It's a lot easier to plan the future after looking at the past, isn't it? All the best for your writing endeavours.

Juneta Key said...

That sounds like a good plan to me. You are doing well, congrats.
Juneta @ Writer's Gambit

Jerry E Beuterbaugh said...

I hope this finds you and yours doing well. May we display your header on our new site directory? As it is now, the site title (linked back to its home page) is listed, and we think displaying the header will attract more attention. In any event, we hope you will come by and see what is going on at

Donna K. Weaver said...

Great detail in your plan there in how to make it happen. Mine is simple. Retire in 3 years and then let writing be my only job.

Zan Marie said...

Great plan! Good luck!

Nick Wilford said...

Wow! Those are grand plans, but given all you've achieved over the last few years, I'm sure they are within your grasp. Prolific would be a good word for you. Here's to many more publications, placements, and sales over the next five years!

Rachna Chhabria said...

Good plans Tyrean. So far I have never written down what I have accomplished so far. It looks like a good idea to write it down and read it whenever I feel low! Wishing you good luck with your goals.

John and Tyrean Martinson said...

J.H. - Well, I haven't gained a great deal of financial success, and I've been working on pinning down the reasons for that. I have some ideas that I'll reveal next year.

Rebecca - Definitely! It can also help with refining goals.

Ronel - Thanks!

JUneta - Thank you!

Jerry - I'll come by and check it out.

Donna - Thanks! I like your plan, too!

Zan - Thank you!

Nick - Thank you!

Rachna - I highly recommend it. It kind of feels like a brag list, but it really helps - every step of the way.

Cherie Reich said...

Plans do have a way of not quite working out how we planned. Best of luck! I know you'll work hard to get there. And Merry Christmas!

John and Tyrean Martinson said...

Cherie - I know what you mean! Thanks, and Merry Christmas to you, too!

Diane Burton said...

Look at all you've accomplished. Super! Completing your 5-year goals should be a piece of cake. You can do it.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you and your family.

Michael Di Gesu said...

Hi, Tyrean,

Yes, you do have a great plan! You've done so well so far... you'll get there. Where there's a will...

HOPE you and your family have a WONDERFUL HOLIDAY SEASON!

Laurel Garver said...

What's the saying... "life is what happens when we're making other plans," right? You've managed to do quite a lot, and I hope writing it all out was a big encouragement. We've had some pretty major hard stuff hit our family, which means plans are nice, but you have to hold them loosely--and take it all one day at a time. God's mercies are new every morning.

A blessed Advent a very Merry Christmas to you and yours.

Lynda R Young said...

Sounds like you went far even if your initial plan wasn't in front of you.
Wishing you the best for the future!

Denise Covey said...

You certainly sound organised to me, but if we're going to make a living in this writing world, we have to be. Wishing you every good wish in reaching your goals. :-)

Julie Flanders said...

I enjoyed reading your accomplishments, which are many! Good idea to go back through and see what you've already done so far.

Merry Christmas to you and your family, Tyrean! I hope the holidays are magical for you all. :)

Stephanie Faris said...

I tried Toastmasters and it was super-scary. Of course, children's authors just do school visits and, to be honest, children are FAR less scary than adults! But it turns out I chose THE best Toastmasters group in Nashville. They win awards. And they were in a meeting room at Bridgestone's corporate offices. So lesson? If you want to really challenge yourself, go for one that's corporate. If you want a more family-like feeling where you can learn and grow with people who aren't big-time corporate types, go for one that is held at night or on weekends, maybe in a church or restaurant.

Lexa Cain said...

Wow, not only are you organized, but you actually accomplished an amazing amount, like 102 short stories pubbed plus novels and non-fic too! Be proud and keep going! :)

Suzy Quinn said...

Inspiring! It is nice to learn what others have accomplished over the years and how they still want to learn more and grow. Wishing you the best in 2017 and Happy Holidays as well. Thank you for sharing!

Heather R. Holden said...

Wow, you've accomplished a lot over the past few years! I'm beyond impressed. And I agree about the importance of writing down accomplishments. I keep a logbook of all the art I work on, and even input the stats in a graph so I can compare my yearly accomplishments. Really helps keep me on track. Hope you have a fantastic holiday season, Tyrean!